FFWD REW

Apollo Ghosts – Landmark

You’ve Changed

With Landmark Adrian Teacher the braintrust-guitarist behind Vancouver hyphen-punk trio Apollo Ghosts could’ve elected to take himself seriously. His debut Mount Benson explored the decidedly straight-faced topic of Asian-Canadian culture. Its followup Hastings Sunrise earned a surprise spot on the Polaris Prize long list. And with a third LP on Sackville N.B.’s foremost tastemaker You’ve Changed Landmark could’ve been Teacher’s artistic coup his statement of arrival his lasting contribution to the Cancon canon.

Landmark could still be all three but refreshingly Teacher hasn’t stripped his music of his adventurousness or his sense of well fun. Laid out over 15 concise tracks Landmark barely settles on a defined concept: Here Thrush Hermit-indebted lo-fi bangers (“I’m in Love With the USA”). There gritty surf falsetto (“Why Can’t I Be the Man on Stage.”) Elsewhere pitch-perfect East Coast power pop (“Weekend Fantasy”). Such meanderings aren’t rare in modern garage-punk of course but Teacher’s mastery of each — dare we say every — style he attempts suggest a rare musical talent even if he’s experimenting with well-worn musical tropes. Indeed with most of Landmark ’s songs stopping shy of the three-minute mark the album’s biggest criticism is that when Teacher finds an infectious pop hook as he does on “Newcastle” he rarely lingers on it long enough.

Paired with Teacher’s penchant for literal lyrics — about working glass-ceiling aspirations and in the case of “So Much Better When You’re Gone” the satisfaction of a longtime-coming breakup — this collection of songs never takes itself too seriously but that doesn’t detract from the fact that Landmark is a serious effin’ LP.

<a href="http://apolloghosts.bandcamp.com/album/landmark" mce_href="http://apolloghosts.bandcamp.com/album/landmark">Landmark by Apollo Ghosts</a>

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